Today, we found ourselves sat in a dimly lit hallway of a Lithuanian children's hospital trying to translate "septic bum cheek" to a Lithuanian doctor on Google. As Beau, is taken into a room, I am told, very authoritatively, not to leave my seat via a combination of broken English and pointing and to be honest, I wasn't going to argue! After about 10 minutes and what seemed to be raucous laughter behind the door, Bobo emerges smiling, with a bandage which covers his entire right bum cheek! Proud as punch!
So we made it to Lithuania! An eventful trip so far. Since our last post, we have stayed in a campsite near Bruges, re stocked on clothes at the local Decathalon, had more sick, stayed in a very rainy campsite in Dortmund, driven a very long day to Poland through storms like we have never seen before but to then be greeted by our dear friend and family with the warmest welcome imaginable, stayed in another (slightly scary) campsite on the outskirts of Warsaw, more sick (me this time, bleeeuughh!), free camped near the Mazurian lakes and then found ourselves in this beautiful campsite just outside Klampieda in Lithuania.
We met a really lovely German family here who helped us get to the town for emergency care. They are also doing a trip of the Baltic over the next five weeks. It had taken them a week to get across Poland because of the weather! They are Stormchasing too! They have four kids too. Two boys, a girl and then another little boy. Just the same as us. It's not often you meet a family like ours and doing the same trip! (They too, have clearly gone mad! I have come to the conclusion that there must be a direct correlation with number of children born and brain addling!) We shared some good stories and few beers and have promised to stay in touch. We may even bump into them again during the trip. You never know.
And so back to the hospital in Klaipeda. The doctors were brilliant, despite the language barrier. We were told we needed to come back the next day to check if it was getting better or worse. Fingers crossed it would be better! So off we went on our merry way, straight out into yet another storm!! We waited and waited but the rain wouldn't stop. I checked Google maps (loathe as I am to say it, Google really is amazing!) and found a hotel to take shelter in only 6 mins walk from the hospital. So we took the plunge (literally) and legged it as fast as we could across flooded streets and dodging surface spray from passing cars. Four minutes later, and drenched to the bone we were sat in the refuge of a warm and welcoming hotel restaurant. The food was delicious.
We sheltered from the storm for the next couple of hours (it probably would have been shorter had Beau not pointed out earlier, that what I thought was the storm still raging outside, was actually a floor to ceiling water feature which stood in the corner of the room we were sat in! Doh.) We emerged to the shining sun and walked down to the Old Town. Beautiful cobbled streets and architecture. We also found that all the rivers (or maybe canals), coming off the sea were lined with small to medium tall ships and then as we got closer to the harbour, the ships got bigger and bigger!! Amazing ships! It was The Tall Ships Races 2017. We were so lucky to see them. It looked like there had been a big party the night before. And everyone one we saw was dressed in striped t shirts and sailors caps.
We wandered for a while and then went to find out way back to the campsite. Our German friends who had given us a lift had been held up on the Curonian Spit, sheltering from the storm and were now enjoying the sunshine. We decided to find a taxi, so where is the best place to get a taxi in a city? The train station! So off we went, aided by Google yet again.
Klaipeda is a lovely city and I really noticed how clean and tidy the streets were. Many cobbled beautiful streets. But like any city, you can turn the next corner and find yourselves in surroundings you don't necessarily feel that comfortable with, especially with your nine year old son! And sometimes Google doesn't always get it right! We ended up in a bit of a desolate wasteland along side, what appeared to be a disused rail track. Turn on panic mode! Oh hang on, what's that behind us? Oh, it appears to be the footbridge over to the station on the other side! Hardly intrepid travelling. It's all about keeping your cool…or not as the case maybe! The station however was almost as desolate as the wasteland had been, although perhaps a little less scary but turns out it didn't seem to be the ideal place to catch a taxi. We waited and waited under a sign which definitely said taxis.
We tried to get on an 8 seated mini bus taxi, which their seemed the be plenty of! That didn't work out. Eventually, I hailed one of the road and yeay, we were on our way home after a little bit of map pointing and nodding. We arrived back at the ranch to find the rest of the scamps in the bar next to the campsite and were welcomed with an ice cold Lithuanian beer! And relax.
An eventful day. A good day.